Beds, Herts & Bucks

Asda car park death: Brian Holmes 'knocked out on feet'

Alan Watts
Image caption Alan Watts claims he acted in self defence after Brian Holmes grabbed his arm

A cancer survivor who died after being punched during a row over a disabled parking space may have been knocked out "on his feet", a jury has heard.

Brian Holmes, 64, died the day after he was hit twice outside Asda in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, on 3 August.

Forensic pathologist Dr Nat Cary said a blow to Mr Holmes' jaw could have caused an "unprotected, accelerated fall" which fractured his skull.

Alan Watts, 65, of Lindsell Crescent, Biggleswade, denies manslaughter.

Mr Holmes, of Sandy, had recently been given the all-clear from cancer and was shopping with his wife, Christine.

She has rheumatoid arthritis and, as a blue badge holder, parked her car in a disabled bay, the court heard.

She was already in the supermarket when Mr Watts made the comment to her husband, who then approached Mr Watts' Range Rover.


Image caption Brian Holmes was out with his wife, Christine

The jury was shown CCTV footage of Mr Watts getting out of the car and punching Mr Holmes, who fell to the ground and struck his head, causing the fracture to his skull.

Dr Cary said the blow to his jaw could have seen him "losing consciousness on his feet, resulting in an unprotected, accelerated fall over backwards".

Mr Holmes was flown to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, where a care team concluded his injuries were "non-survivable", the court heard.

The following day, his life support system was turned off.

The jury was told further details of Mr Holmes' lung and prostate cancer.

He had undergone surgery, responded well to treatment and, shortly before his death, was given the news that he was in remission.

Mr Watts claims he struck Mr Holmes in self defence after he was grabbed by the arm while still in his car.

The case continues.

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